Regional Implementation of the New National Family Medicine Residency Training Curriculum in Portugal

Cecilia Shinn, Ana Marques, Helena Chantre, Helena Fragoeiro, José Simões, Maria Loureiro, Maria Mora

Keywords: Curriculum, Coordinators, Colaboration, Equity, Homogeneity


The first official National Family Medicine Residency Training Curriculum was enacted in Portugal 2009. although it had informally existed for over 20 years. It was revised in 2010 (increasing the training duration to 4 years), and in 2015 (reorganizing objective and length of different training periods and evaluation method). In 2019 a new curriculum was developed to reduce heterogeneity in traineeship in different regions, increase flexibility in traineeship location, standardize continuous and final evaluation models and mandate obligatory weekly periods of non-clinical activity.


To fully implement these changes the Regional Coordinators established monthly meetings to coordinate efforts and homogenize decisions at a national level, as well as maintaining regular meetings with other stakeholders involved. The meetings were mainly online as 2 of the Coordinators are based in Autonomous Regions of Portugal (islands in the Atlantic Ocean) and the other 5 coordinators are spread throughout the mainland region.


We organized a national bibliography, created a national Traineeship Guide divided into curricular years, established national groups to elaborate multiple choice exams for continuous evaluation in years 1 and 3, shared clinical cases used for evaluation in years 2 and 4, shared experiences on creation of obligatory non clinical sessions, set up an authorization circuit for training periods carried out outside the region, and contributed to the Board Certification Exam: created a national guidance manual, contributed to the national jury that elaborates the theoretical exam and created a national group that elaborates Mini Clinical Examination Exercise the practical exam.


The monthly meetings enabled a smoother and more equitable and homogenous transition to the new curriculum, allowed national debate regarding important topics and distributed the workload of national projects. It resulted in a more homogenous traineeship and evaluation process.

Points for discussion:

Curriculum development and improvements

Regional Coordination of a National Curriculum

National assymetries in traineeships


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